Reef Keepers

A SCUBA DIVING TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

OUR WORKDONATE

Whilst Raja Ampat is home to a lucrative (area specific) tourism industry that is largely based on SCUBA diving, many local community members remain on the sidelines of this industry, not able to fully participate or access the associated benefits, due to a lack of relevant training and certification.  Due to a complex interplay of social, political, and geographical factors, indigenous people face limited opportunities for training,

certification and employment in the region.
Often overlooked in training and recruitment, higher-skilled and better-paid positions are frequently offered to or occupied by, more urbanised nationals from outside the region, or foreigners.  This leaves only the lower-skilled and less lucrative jobs for local community members, leaving many to turn to more extractive activities and the further exploitation of the marine environment for income.

Recognising this gap in access and ability, and associated socio-economic and environmental impact, we further leverage our conservation programs to offer free scuba diving training and certification, tailored for the local inhabitants of the Raja Ampat region.

The Galaxea Conservation Boat Raja Ampat | The SEA People | Yayasan Orang Laut Papua
Bridging the gap

Training Dive Guards To Protect Coral Reefs

We don’t train Dive Guides, we create Dive Guards who go on to protect the marine environment that supports their communities and livelihoods.
Our Reef Keepers program is designed to bridge the existing gap in access and ability, by providing locals with opportunity to obtain the skills needed to engage with and benefit from the burgeoning tourism and conservation sectors. By equipping community members with scuba diving training and certification, we not only open up a myriad of employment opportunities, both without our foundation and wider industry, but also foster a community of marine conservation advocates.  This initiative aims to transform the underwater world of Raja Ampat into a sustainable source of livelihood for its people, ensuring that economic development goes hand in hand with environmental stewardship.

The Galaxea Conservation Boat Raja Ampat Sustainable Tourism Volunteer Raja Ampat

Significant effort is dedicated to customizing standard SCUBA Diving Training to meet the needs of local community members, who often lack basic secondary education (a widespread issue in a country grappling with limited access to quality education, and an issue particularly acute in the West Papua province, which consistently records the lowest educational standards in the country).  Training is conducted by a certified instructor (our Co-Founder, Anaud Brival) and to an international standard – something that is often missing in more local ‘training’, leaving even those that have been previously certificated lacking in both theoretical understanding and practical skill; a dangerous combination for the ‘certified’ individual who believes they are trained and equipped for scuba diving.

The Galaxea Conservation Boat Raja Ampat Sustainable Tourism Volunteer Raja Ampat
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE, WITHOUT SACRIFICING THE PRESENT

Earning while Learning 

For local community members in Raja Ampat, the opportunity to earn an income while engaging in learning and training is not just a benefit—it’s a necessity. As residents of the remote archipelago have limited economic opportunities, the ability to work and learn simultaneously represents a critical lifeline. It provides immediate financial support to their families, mitigating the prevalent economic pressures and allowing them to invest in their futures without foregoing day-to-day necessities. Employment during training ensures that acquiring new skills for long-term career advancement does not come at the cost of immediate well-being. This approach aligns with sustainable development practices by encouraging education and growth while maintaining the ecological and cultural integrity of Raja Ampat.

For those individuals accepted into the Reek Keepers program, we offer full time employment during the training phase, where the Yaf Keru Reef Restoration and Conservation Program serves as the classroom and training platform for SCUBA Diving.  Our Reef Keepers program not only teaches SCUBA diving, but coral reef ecology, conservation, and best practice for environmentally conscious scuba diving  – whether it be for tourism or conservation.

Participants emerge from our program not just as certified divers but as empowered individuals, many of whom remain a part of our Foundation, or have gone on to secure employment within the eco-tourism and marine conservation fields. Their stories of transformation and success underscore the profound personal impact of this initiative.

The ripple effects of the program extend into the broader community, promoting a collective sense of pride, engagement, and responsibility towards the marine environment. As more locals become certified, the community’s capacity to support and sustain conservation efforts strengthens.

Graduates from the program play a crucial role in our ongoing conservation projects. With their newly acquired skills, they actively participate in coral reef restoration, species monitoring, and the collection of critical data that informs our conservation strategies. Their involvement ensures that conservation efforts are grounded in local knowledge and participation, enhancing their effectiveness and sustainability.
Our program has already seen remarkable successes: from the number of individuals certified to the tangible contributions they’ve made to conservation efforts and the eco-tourism industry. Through their participation, local communities are not just observers but active contributors to the protection and preservation of their marine heritage.

The Milky Way Galaxy Night Sky Raja Ampat
GET INVOLVED

Become A Remote Reefkeeper

For those looking to support this transformative program, we welcome sponsors and partners to join us in expanding the reach and impact of this initiative. Your support can help us train and equip more divers, enhance our conservation efforts, and ensure the sustainable development of Raja Ampat’s communities.

Contact Us for our most current needs relating to this program or Donate to directly support the effort.

Contact Us

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All rights reserved. Yayasan Orang Laut Papua is a registered NGO under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Republic of Indonesia. Number AHU-0016408. Year 2019. The SEA People is a registered Charitable Association under the Gouvernement de la République in France (Numero Identification Siren 853074300) and serves as an administrative and fundrasing base for supporting the fieldwork of Yaysan Orang Laut Papua.    Privacy Policy    Terms & Conditions